River Restoration for Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

FiveRivers are currently working with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust delivering detailed designs for the Three Rivers Restoration Project.  

This project is a partnership between Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and Severn Trent to deliver essential improvements and interventions to improve the three rivers within the Idle catchment – Rainworth Water, Vicar Water and the Bevercotes Beck.  

The three rivers have been identified are requiring improvements as they have poor water quality, low flows, barriers to fish passage, channel modifications and are vegetated with invasive non-native species. Under the Water Framework Directive (WFD) these watercourses are in poor or moderate ecological condition.  

Our designs are focusing on improving low flows by restoring the condition of the riverbed, enhancing the channel form and location, and will also work on removing the barriers of fish passage, all of which will improve the overall resilience of the watercourses and their ecological status.  

Our options so far include remeandering, bank regrading, offline ponds, backwaters for fish shelter, deculverting, and woody material enhancement.  

The proposals present the newly meandered channel to be “two-staged” meaning a section of the channel will be deeper and narrower than the rest, which will allow a level of flow to be maintained throughout the drier months, while the wider section will allow for greater capacity during high flows. 

The project is being delivered by our in-house team of designers; we spoke with Ellie Norton-Jones who is leading this project. She said ‘The Nottinghamshire 3 Rivers project has been incredibly exciting right from the get-go. I spent a week doing walkovers alongside junior environmental consultant Adam Bowen, and the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. It was invaluable to get their insight regarding landowner concerns and requirements, and local perceptions. The schemes range from small scale soft interventions using wood in channel to create wet woodland and reduce sedimentation, to full reach remeandering and deculverting. Each reach has its own set of challenges and requirements, and it has been great working with Ian and Lena to navigate these tricky waters to find the optimal interventions.’ 

We also spoke with Ian Higginson, who is managing the project with the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. He said ‘We have been very impressed with FiveRivers from day one, who have been able to take our thoughts and ideas and landowner requirements and turn them into amazing and creative designs. Together with Project Officer, Lena Olley we have loved the design process working closely with Ellie and Adam. We are very excited by the range of interventions being proposed to allow the rivers to adapt to low flows whilst also creating amazing places for nature to flourish. No issue or concern is too small or challenging for Ellie and the team and we are really looking forward to finalising the designs and installing the schemes later this year. As well as professional designs that are easy to understand, Ellie has been fantastic in meetings with landowners describing the designs and the thinking behind each scheme, a real team effort!’ 


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